Finally, I had a week that wasn’t jam-packed with plans, thus I was able to finish watching the anime I started before the holidays: Gurren Lagann.
I know, I know, I’m a little behind the times (as usual) — Gurren Lagann originally aired its 27 episodes in 2007. Each episode only runs about 25 minutes. Twenty-seven episodes at 25 minutes each is puny compared to other shows; it’s truly remarkable what the writers were able to cover in that short amount of time.
Gurren Lagann is a mecha anime, which means it involves a lot of robots/machines.
The story takes place on Earth, where all humans have been forced to live underground by creatures called “beastmen” and their ruler, the Spiral King. In the first episode we meet two of the main characters: Simon and Kamina. Simon is a digger in his subterranean village — drilling away at the earth for hours on end. Kamina is the village “bad boy” who always talks about escaping to the surface, to follow in the path of his father. If you imagine your average bro (which funnily enough is what Simon calls him in the show) that’s pretty much Kamina’s character.
Simon is just sad kid, with not much going for him at the beginning of the show. But his fate is changed when he finds a small, glowing drill pendant and Gunman buried deep in the Earth. Gunman are the machines that the beastmen have used to repress the humans.
Simon ends up using the Gunman and the drill pendant (which activates the Gunman) to defend his village against a giant Gunman that falls through the ceiling. Along with the giant Gunman, a girl named Yoko falls into their village as she too tries to take down the enemy. Simon and Kamina, along with Yoko, defeat the giant Gunman. At that point, Kamina names Simon’s Gunman “Lagann”.
Yoko tells Simon and Kamina about the war that’s been raging on the surface between humans that have escaped their underground villages and the Gunman controlled by the beastmen. Yoko is surprised a human could pilot a Gunman, as it was believed that only beastmen could control them. Kamina decides that the three of them should go to the surface with Lagann to help defend the humans.
All of that happens in the first one or two episodes. So you can imagine how fast-paced this show is. Rather than spoiling everything for you, I figured I just list the things I like/disliked about the show:
– It’s fast. I know I’ve already mentioned it, but it was nice to watch an entire show and not feel like I’ve wasted days of my life (Dawson’s Creek anyone?) I also liked that I didn’t have to wait very long to answer questions I had about the Gurren Lagann world.
– The story is interesting and I never knew where it was headed next.
– I found myself really caught up in the characters — you become very attached to them, and feel the pain when they suffer. They really encompass a large spectrum of human emotion including depression, love, hate, jealousy, and lust.
– The animation is very good. I enjoyed the well-done style of the show. The last few episodes were the best part in this aspect. I was wondering if they were going to show the “god-like” villain at the end — and if they did show him, how were they going to do it? Well, they did show him, and it was really cool!
– The way they presented Yoko (the main female character). I know it’s a mecha anime, probably geared towards boys/men, but I was disappointed with the way they sexed- up Yoko ALL THE TIME. I mean, most animes do this, but I thought it was over-the-top in Gurren Lagann. There were SO many shots of Yoko’s bursting bust and butt. She was still a badass character — but she would have been better for me with less in-your-face boob-age.
– There was way too much yelling. I’m pretty sure the characters yelled at each other for about five minutes straight every episode. Every time they battled EVERYTHING WAS SAID AS IF IT WAS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS (I think that’s how the voice actor’s scripts were written).
This post is already huge, and I didn’t even really get into the story. So much happens, you really should just check it out for yourself. The show was great — and had some encouraging messages about believing in yourself.
“Don’t believe in the me that believes in you, believe in the you that believes in you.” – Kamina
Keep nerdin’ on.